Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Compassion is a feeling evoked by the serious troubles of another where the onlooker can identify with the sufferer and believes that it is possible that he or she might have the same difficulty. The troubles must not be self-inflicted. Discussions of compassion go back to Aristotle, although they were originally called “pity.” The idea of compassion rests on beliefs about the social nature of everyday life as well as clear evidence of identification with others, which is even found in newborns. The everyday world is a social world. The place of the internet and contemporary social media in these processes is discussed. The idea of spirit is discussed, as are the religious and philosophical origins of the idea. Social situations where compassion is absent are discussed. The importance of compassion in medicine is stressed. Suffering, its definition and its importance in compassion are covered.

Keywords: Compassion, emotion, sympathy, feeling, pity, Buddhism, synonymity, suffering, spirit, sociality

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.